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Applying for a Liquor Licence

Image for the Applying for a Liquor Licence page.
This page contains information about the range of liquor licences which Council administers and links to the guidance notes and application forms.
Updated: 11/12/2019 12:47 p.m.

Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012

More information about the Act can be found by visiting the NZ Legislation website. Follow the link below.

Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 (Opens in a new window)

Fees and charges

A temporary authority has a set fee of $484.00 (includes GST).

Fees vary for On, Off and Club licences depending on the “cost/risk rating” of each premises, and take into account:

  • Type of premises
  • Hours of operation
  • Number of enforcement actions in the previous 18 months

A weighting for each of these will produce the total rating for the premises.  This determines which fee category the premises fits in to and what the fees will be. 

Further information can be found on the fees page in the liquor licence application form (links below), or refer to Council's fees and charges.  See link below.

Council has set licensing fees through a Bylaw.  For more information about Council's Alcohol Fees Bylaw, follow the link below.

Application Forms

Taking over a licenced premises

A temporary authority is required if you are taking over a licenced premises and wish to continue selling alcohol immediately.  A temporary authority is granted for a three month period.

Complete the application form below.

Temporary Authority [365kb] 

You will also need to apply for a new licence within the first three month period of the temporary authority being issued.

New businesses

You need a liquor licence if:

  • You are opening a new business and wish to sell alcohol
  • You have, or are applying for, a temporary authority

Complete the appropriate application form below.

On Licence - new [679kb]

Off Licence - new [738kb]

Club Licence - new [645kb]

A Resource Management and Liquor Certificate is needed for On, Off and Club Licences.  This application form is included in the liquor licence application, and will be processed by our Planning Department.  For further information about applying for a Liquor Certificate, follow the link below.

You will also need to complete the application for a Building Code Certificate which certifies that the premises meet the requirements of the New Zealand Building Code. This application is included in the liquor licence application, and will be processed by our Building Department.

Existing businesses

If you have a liquor licence and it's nearing its expiry date, you will need to renew it before the expiry date, if you wish to continue selling alcohol.

Complete the appropriate application form below.

On Licence - renewal [372kb]

Off Licence - renewal [287kb]

Club Licence - renewal [382kb]

Submit your application

By post

Whangarei District Council, Private Bag 9023, Whangarei 0148

Please include a cheque.

In person

Forum North, 7 Rust Avenue, Whangarei

Ruakaka Service Centre, Takutai Place, Ruakaka

Pay by cheque, cash, eftpos or credit card.

Public Notice

Once you have submitted your On, Off or Club licence application to Council, you need to notify the public of your application in two ways:

  • Display public notice of application at street frontage/entrance to premises (form included in application form)
  • Advertise in local newspaper within 10 days of submitting application to Council.  If a second advertisement is required, advertise seven days after the first advertisement.

Processing your application

It takes a minimum of six weeks to process On, Off and Club licence applications.  However, there are many factors that can affect this timeframe. 

The application is reviewed and reported on by the Alcohol Harm Reduction Officer at the NZ Police (Whangarei District), Medical Officer of Health at the Northland District Health Board, NZ Fire & Emergency Service (Whangarei District) and one of our Licensing Officers.

If there are any issues or concerns with the application, or it is opposed by a member of the public or any of the reporting officers above, you will be contacted and advised of a possible public hearing.

The application is forwarded to the District Licensing Committee to consider.  If your application is granted, we will issue the licence.  If declined following a public hearing, you will not receive a refund.

Issuing of a licence

A new On, Off or Club licence is granted for one year.  You will be required to pay an annual fee when your new licence is granted (if you have not done so already), in order to activate your licence.

You will need to apply to renew your licence after one year, before the expiry date.

An annual fee is due to be paid on the anniversary of your licence.  You will be sent a reminder.

After the first renewal, you will need to apply to renew the licence every three years.  Application for renewal must be made before the expiry date. 

What else you need to know

If you are applying for an On, Off or Club licence, you must have a certified duty manager.  Follow the link below for further information.

If you are applying for an On or Club licence, you are required to supply food to customers.  This means you need a food premises registration.  Follow the link below for further information.


If you have any queries, please contact the Health and Bylaws department on (09) 430 4230.


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